Changing the Stigma of Mental Health

By: LifeSpring Behavioral Health | Published 10/30/2023


Do you remember the film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”? Released in 1975, it sheds light on the stereotypes surrounding mental health, and also exposed the systemic failures in mental healthcare during that era. While this emotional film has been influential to many people, it has also perpetuated some unhealthy beliefs about mental health and treatment. 

Even if you haven’t seen this film, you have likely encountered the stigmas society imposes on people struggling with mental health. The societal perceptions of mental health- viewing people as crazy, assuming one must have severe problems to warrant a visit to a psychiatrist or therapist, seeing a person seeking help as weak- and many other misconceptions often prevent people from seeking help. These stigmas discourage individuals from acknowledging their struggle for fear of judgment. 

Thankfully, mental health care has evolved significantly in the last 50 years. In the mid-1900s information about psychiatric medications was limited, and confinement in psychiatric wards was a norm. Mental illness was perceived as a life sentence. Fast forward to 2023, and we have research to support the effectiveness of medication, appropriate treatments and the benefits of therapy. With proper care, people facing mental health challenges can and do live fulfilling and productive lives. 

Sometimes, I wish I could give everyone a pair of glasses that would shade everyone with mental health struggle in blue and send them to walk around the mall. It would be validating to realize you are not alone if you have mental health struggles. Many people battling with mental health tend to experience shame and fears that keep them from talking about their struggles. Yet, experiencing anxiety, paranoia, depression, and psychosis are all part of human experience. 

As we make strides in debunking the myths surrounding mental health, it is crucial to normalize discussion about the impact of mental health struggles and the available treatments. There is help available. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, guilt, triggering reactions, paranoia, psychosis or any other mental health challenge, support exists for you. Don’t allow the stigma attached to mental health to prevent you from living your healthiest life. Don’t suffer just because you are worried about being judged. 

It is time our societal views about mental health updates with the times. It is 2023, and prioritizing mental health care is imperative. Caring for your mind is the most empowering thing one can do. If you need assistance, taking a step toward improving mental health, please contact us at LifeSpring 
Behavioral. Let’s work together to break the stigmas of mental health care and encourage everyone to care for their mental well-being. 

Tammy Nix, LPC-S 
LIfeSpring Behavioral Health 


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